I have a major problem with my teacher. He loves to embarrass me in front the whole class! I’m like the quietest person, but he still singles me out and it gets on my nerves. What should I do to make him stop embarrassing me? He does it ALL the time! Please help!!
Dear Teacher Trouble,
I’m sorry your teacher is getting on your nerves. It would be GREAT if you could actually enjoy the class and learn something without worrying that your teacher is going to embarrass you.
I’m curious HOW he embarrasses you. Like, if you’re so shy, are you embarrassed simply because he calls on you? I’m guessing it’s not that, because probably all your teachers call on you at one point or another. But you have a problem with this specific teacher.
So, does he tease you? Are you the only person he gives a hard time? If so, then I think it’s fair to talk to him about it. Let him know that his teasing causes you a lot of anxiety and makes it difficult for you to learn in his class. I know this is easy to say and would be SO hard to do. But maybe you could ask a friend to stay after class and give you moral support while you talk to the teacher. Maybe you could ask one of your parents to come in and help you talk to the teacher. Or you could ask the school counselor to help you. But, if you’re getting picked on and no one else is, that’s not right!
I don’t think people who tease usually mean to hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone uncomfortable. It’s more just their personality, and they don’t realize how they make their targets feel. But, it’s so not cool for a teacher to single one student out like that.
Now, maybe he actually teases lots of people. But because you’re so shy (and maybe even a little sensitive), it bothers you more than it bothers most. Is that possible? If that’s true, I don’t think you can probably change how HE acts. All you can do is try not to be so embarrassed by how he treats you. And if he treats EVERYONE that way, it’s embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as it would be if it were just you. Right?
So, how can you handle it when he teases you?
(These tools can also help if other kids tease you.)
- Remember who you are: You’re strong. You might not like it, but you CAN handle it.
- Ignore it: Now, you can’t ignore your teacher if he’s talking to you. But just like with kids who tease, the more you react, the more you’ll be a target. If you must respond to a teacher, try to respond completely calmly, as though he isn’t bothering you at all.
- Visualize a force field: This sounds goofy, but it can really work. Imagine a force field around yourself, and the teasing words bouncing right off you before they can get to you.
- Make it positive: If there’s a way to turn the teasing around into something positive, go for it. Like, if someone says sarcastically, “Nice SHOES.” You can just smile and say, “Thanks, they’re my favorite.” The teaser will be thrown off when you don’t get upset. You can also do this by complimenting the teaser. You could say, “Thanks, I like your shoes too.”
- Agree if it’s true: Sometimes people will tease about things that are true. If someone says, “You have sooooo many freckles,” and the truth is you do, then you can just respond with, “I do have a lot of freckles.” It can make the teaser feel silly for making a big deal out of something matter-of-fact.